Thor's Cave

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View of Thor's cave entrance from the valley Thors cave view.jpg
View of Thor's cave entrance from the valley

Thor's Cave
Thyrsis's Cavern [1]
Thor's cave.jpg
Thor's Cave from the Manifold Way
Location Manifold Valley, Staffordshire
Length150 feet (46 m) [1]
Elevation870 feet (265 m) [1]
GeologyLimestone
Entrances2
DifficultyGrade I [note 1] [1]
View from inside Thors Cave Thors cave, view from inside.jpg
View from inside Thors Cave

Thor's Cave (also known as Thor's House Cavern and Thyrsis's Cave) is a natural cavern located at SK09865496 in the Manifold Valley of the White Peak in Staffordshire, England. It is classified as a Karst cave. Located in a steep limestone crag, the cave entrance, a symmetrical arch 7.5 metres wide and 10 metres high, is prominently visible from the valley bottom, around 80 metres (260 feet) below. Reached by an easy stepped path from the Manifold Way, the cave is a popular tourist spot, with views over the Manifold Valley. The second entrance is known as the "West Window", below which is a second cave, Thor's Fissure Cavern. [1]

Cave Natural underground space large enough for a human to enter

A cave or cavern is a natural void in the ground, specifically a space large enough for a human to enter. Caves often form by the weathering of rock and often extend deep underground. The word cave can also refer to much smaller openings such as sea caves, rock shelters, and grottos, though strictly speaking a cave is exogene, meaning it is deeper than its opening is wide, and a rock shelter is endogene.

River Manifold river in Staffordshire, United Kingdom

The River Manifold is a river in Staffordshire, England. It is a tributary of the River Dove.

White Peak lower, southern part of the Peak District in England

The White Peak is the lower, central and southern part of the Peak District in England, enclosed by the Dark Peak in the west, north and east. However, in contrast to the Dark Peak, the underlying limestone is not capped by impervious millstone grit, so caves, limestone gorges and dry river valleys are common features of the area. The soils are poor and calcareous, creating grazing land for both sheep and cattle.

Contents

Thor's Cave was served by a railway station on the Leek and Manifold Valley Light Railway from 1904 to 1934; the disused line now forms the Manifold Way.

Train station Railway facility where trains regularly stop to load or unload passengers and/or freight

A train station, railway station, railroad station, or depot is a railway facility or area where trains regularly stop to load or unload passengers or freight. It generally consists of at least one track-side platform and a station building (depot) providing such ancillary services as ticket sales and waiting rooms. If a station is on a single-track line, it often has a passing loop to facilitate traffic movements. The smallest stations are most often referred to as "stops" or, in some parts of the world, as "halts".

The Leek and Manifold Valley Light Railway (L&MVLR) was a narrow gauge railway in Staffordshire, England that operated between 1904 and 1934. The line mainly carried milk from dairies in the region, acting as a feeder to the 4 ft 8 12 instandard gauge system. It also provided passenger services to the small villages and beauty spots along its route. The line was built to a 2 ft 6 in narrow gauge and to the light rail standards provided by the Light Railways Act 1896 to reduce construction costs.

Etymology

The origin of the name is uncertain, possibly from the word "tor". Links with the Norse god Thor and the Germanic paganism of the early Anglo-Saxons in general have been suggested, but evidence is lacking. Other hypotheses have included lost ancient dialectal terms, and obscure English saints.

Norse mythology body of mythology of the North Germanic people stemming from Norse paganism and continuing after the Christianization of Scandinavia and into the Scandinavian folklore of the modern period

Norse mythology is the body of myths of the North Germanic peoples, stemming from Norse paganism and continuing after the Christianization of Scandinavia, and into the Scandinavian folklore of the modern period. The northernmost extension of Germanic mythology, Norse mythology consists of tales of various deities, beings, and heroes derived from numerous sources from both before and after the pagan period, including medieval manuscripts, archaeological representations, and folk tradition.

Thor hammer-wielding Nordic god associated with thunder

In Germanic mythology, Thor is a hammer-wielding god associated with thunder, lightning, storms, oak trees, strength, the protection of mankind, and also hallowing and fertility. Besides Old Norse Þórr, extensions of the god occur in Old English as Þunor, and in Old High German as Donar. All forms of the deity stem from a Common Germanic *Þunraz.

Germanic paganism

Germanic paganism refers to the indigenous religion of the Germanic people from the Iron Age until Christianisation during the Middle Ages. Rooted in Proto-Indo-European religion, Proto-Germanic religion expanded during the Migration Period, yielding extensions such as Old Norse religion among the North Germanic peoples, Continental Germanic paganism among the continental Germanic peoples, and Anglo-Saxon paganism among the West Germanic people. Among the East Germanic peoples, traces of Gothic paganism may be discerned from scant artifacts and attestations. According to John Thor Ewing, as a religion it consisted of "individual worshippers, family traditions and regional cults within a broadly consistent framework".

Human habitation

Excavations in 1864–65 and 1927–35 found human and animal remains, stone tools, pottery, amber beads, and bronze items within Thor's Cave and the adjacent Thor's Fissure Cavern. The caves are estimated to have contained the burial sites of at least seven people. [2] The finds suggest the cavern was occupied from the end of the Palaeolithic period, with more intensive use during the iron age and Roman periods.

Roman Britain part of the island of Great Britain controlled by the Roman Empire

Roman Britain was the area of the island of Great Britain that was governed by the Roman Empire, from 43 to 410 AD. It comprised almost the whole of England and Wales and, for a short period, southern Scotland.

Rock climbing

Thor's Cave has been used by rock climbers since explorations in the early 1950s by Joe Brown and others. Eleven limestone routes are listed by the BMC, ranging in grade from Very Severe to E7, and several more have been claimed since guidebook publication; a few routes are bolted. [3]

Climbing Activity to ascend a steep object

Climbing is the activity of using one's hands, feet, or any other part of the body to ascend a steep object. It is done for locomotion, recreation and competition, in trades that rely on it, and in emergency rescue and military operations. It is done indoors and out, on natural and man-made structures.

Joe Brown (climber) British mountain climber

Joseph Brown, usually Joe Brown, is an English climber. He is regarded as the outstanding pioneering English rock climber of the 1950s and early 1960s.

British Mountaineering Council

The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) is the national representative body for England and Wales that exists to protect the freedoms and promote the interests of climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers, including ski-mountaineers. The BMC are also recognised by government as the national governing body for competition climbing.

Media use

The cave was used in the filming of The Verve's 1993 video for their single "Blue",[ citation needed ] and is also pictured on the front cover of the band's first album, A Storm in Heaven . [4]

The Verve English Band

The Verve were an English rock band formed in Wigan in 1990 by lead vocalist Richard Ashcroft, guitarist Nick McCabe, bass guitarist Simon Jones and drummer Peter Salisbury. Guitarist and keyboard player Simon Tong later became a member.

Blue (The Verve song) single by The Verve

"Blue" was the first single by British band The Verve to be released from their first album, A Storm in Heaven, which was released through Hut Records. The song peaked at #69 on the UK charts.

It was used as a location in the 1988 film The Lair of the White Worm, directed by Ken Russell and starring Hugh Grant.[ citation needed ]

See also

Commons-logo.svg Media related to Thor's cave, Staffordshire at Wikimedia Commons

Notes

  1. Grade I: Easy caves. No pitches or other difficulties.

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Barker, Iain; Beck, John S (2010). Caves of the Peak District (7th ed.). Derbyshire Caving Association. ISBN   978-0-9563473-2-9.
  2. Chamberlain, Andrew T; Williams, Jim P (June 2001). A Gazetteer of English Caves, Fissures, and Rock Shelters Containing Human Remains. CAPRA (Cave archaeology and palaeontology research archive). Dept. of Archaeology and Prehistory, University of Sheffield. Archived from the original on 27 December 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  3. Browell, M (1987). Peak Limestone – South. British Mountaineering Council. ISBN   0-903908-26-3.
  4. http://selectmagazinescans.monkeon.co.uk/showpage.php?file=wp-content/uploads/2012/10/verve.jpg

Coordinates: 53°05′30″N1°51′15″W / 53.09176°N 1.85422°W / 53.09176; -1.85422